Whether you think of it as an entry-level cosmetic procedure or perhaps the ultimate gift from Heaven, you probably think of Botox simply as an injectable that temporarily paralyses muscles, thereby erasing or preventing lines and wrinkles.
However, Botox has uses beyond simple aesthetics. It’s commonly related to treatment for migraines (sometimes as a last resort), or to reduce oil production, which can lead to acne, to calm excessive sweating or even to treat spasticity movement disorders such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.
But how about mood alteration?
You may already be aware of the ‘look good, feel better’ school of thought. You might even have felt the mood-boosting effects of a great hairstyle or a perfectly applied pedicure. So why not get into a better mood with some frown-line removal?
There is some new thinking that Botox can assist in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Part of the appeal of treatment is how you feel once you’ve seen your reflection, which often improves mood by degrees after the treatment.
But what if there’s more to it… what if you relax the muscles that you use when you’re feeling anxious or angry? By way of example, Charles Darwin suggested that a smiling expression uses muscles that play a key role in how the brain evaluates mood. In other words, our facial expressions can contribute to the way we feel. Many customer service staff are instructed to smile when answering the phone because the caller can hear the difference in your mood.
The Journal of Psychiatric Research has published the results of several studies, concluding that Botox is a viable way to treat real depression. Once the face is set into a relaxed natural resting state, the mechanisms of the body behave differently and less stress response is created.
Many of us hold different stresses in different parts of our face. When we’re upset and emotional, we hold it in the chin and along the jawbone. When our digestive system is upset, we hold it under the cheekbone.
Relaxing the jawline can be key in releasing tension and it is common to inject Botox to prevent teeth and jaw clenching. When you relax those muscles, less stress response is created.
By releasing the tension from your jawline and eyebrows, it seems that your face can and will play a huge part in manipulating your frame of mind.